Clementa C. Pinckney

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Clementa C. Pinckney
Reverend Clementa Pinckney.jpg
Member of the South Carolina Senate
from the 45th district
In office
January 2001 – June 17, 2015
Preceded by McKinley Washington
Succeeded by Margie Bright Matthews
Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives
from the 122nd district
In office
January 1997 – January 2001
Preceded by Juanita Mitchell White
Succeeded by Thayer Rivers
Personal details
Born Clementa Carlos Pinckney
(1973-07-30)July 30, 1973
Beaufort, South Carolina, U.S.
Died June 17, 2015(2015-06-17) (aged 41)
Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.
Resting place Saint James Cemetery
Marion, South Carolina, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Jennifer Pinckney
Children 2
Alma mater Allen University
University of South Carolina, Columbia
Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary
Wesley Theological Seminary
Religion African Methodist Episcopal

Clementa Carlos "Clem"[1][2] Pinckney (July 30, 1973 – June 17, 2015) was a Democratic member of the South Carolina Senate, representing the 45th District from 2000 until his death in 2015. He was previously a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1997 through 2000.[3][4]

Pinckney was a senior pastor at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. in Charleston.[5][6] On June 17, 2015, Pinckney was murdered in a mass shooting at an evening Bible study at his church.[7][8][9] U.S. President Barack Obama delivered the eulogy at Pinckney's memorial in his honor nine days later.[10][11][12]

Early life and education[edit]

Pinckney was born in Beaufort, South Carolina, the son of Theopia Stevenson Aikens (née Brooms; 1945–2005), an early childhood development educator, and John Pinckney, an auto mechanic.[13][14][15][16] Pinckney had at least six brothers and sisters.[17] He began preaching at his church at age 13 and, by age 18, was appointed pastor.[3]

Pinckney's mother's family, the Stevenson family, has many generations of pastors in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. A maternal great-grandfather, Reverend Lorenzo Stevenson, brought a lawsuit against the state Democratic Party to end unintegrated primaries. During the Civil Rights movement, an uncle named Reverend Levern Stevenson worked with the NAACP to desegregate school buses, and sued Gov. John C. West to create single-member districts to help elect more blacks into the South Carolina General Assembly.[18] Pinckney's father's family, the Pinckney family, based in the Beaufort, South Carolina area could possibly be descendants of slaves owned by Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, who was instrumental in framing the United States Constitution and was part of the Middleton-Rutledge-Pinckney family, a family that included many politicians. The Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge is where the plantation was located.[19][20]

Pinckney went to Jasper County High school,[14] where he was elected class president two years.[21] He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Allen University in 1995 and went on to obtain a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of South Carolina in 1999.[3][22] He then obtained a Master of Divinity degree from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary.[23][24] Pinckney was a student at Wesley Theological Seminary pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree.[25]

Career[edit]

Religious career[edit]

Pinckney preached in Beaufort, Charleston, and Columbia.[26] He became pastor of Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina in 2010.[18][27] As part of his work, Pinckney oversaw 17 churches in the area.[21]

In his leadership position at Mother Emanuel, Pinckney followed in the footsteps of Reverend Richard H. Cain and other AME church leaders, continuing a tradition of religious leaders serving in political positions with a focus on political activism in service to his community.[28] Pinckney said he felt a deep connection between serving his community in politics in complement to his ministry work.[29] Historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr. featured Pinckney in interviews for his award-winning PBS series The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross.[30][31]

Pinckney was among several South Carolina pastors to hold rallies after the shooting of Walter Scott in 2015, attracting some local controversy.[3]

Legislative career[edit]

Pinckney was first elected to the South Carolina General Assembly in 1996 at the age of 23, becoming the youngest African American elected as a South Carolina state legislator.[32] He served in the South Carolina House of Representatives until being elected to the South Carolina Senate in 2000. Pinckney was a Democrat[33] and was a member of the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus.[34] Pinckney represented Allendale, Beaufort, Charleston, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper Counties in South Carolina.[35] At the time of his death, he was on the following Committees: Banking and Insurance, Corrections and Penology, Education, Finance, and Medical Affairs.[16]

As a state senator, Pinckney pushed for laws[36] to require police and other law enforcement officials to wear body cameras after Walter Scott, an unarmed black man, was shot eight times in the back by a police officer in North Charleston.[3][37][38] In April 2015, Pinckney gave an impassioned speech[39][40] on the topic at the South Carolina Senate, citing the fact that national news had come to North Charleston because of the video tape of the incident.[41]

Assassination[edit]

On the night of June 17, 2015, Pinckney was killed in the Charleston church shooting.[21] He spent the earlier part of that day campaigning with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Charleston.[42] That evening, he led a Bible study and prayer session at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where he was senior pastor. The shooter, Dylann Roof, specifically asked for Pinckney and later opened fire on the congregation, killing Pinckney and eight others.[43] While the FBI investigated the mass shooting as a hate crime,[3][44] many others considered the attack a racially motivated act of terrorism, and criticized law enforcement and the media for not labeling it as such.[45][46]

On June 24, 2015, there was a public viewing of Pinckney's casket in the rotunda lobby of the State Capitol Senate Chamber where Pinckney served in the South Carolina legislature, and where his body laid in state.[47][48] Public viewings were held at St. John AME Church in Ridgeland, South Carolina, and Mother Emanuel in Charleston, South Carolina. A funeral was held on June 26, 2015, at the College of Charleston in TD Arena, which was filled up to maximum capacity,[49] necessitating a viewing center with a video feed at the Charleston Museum.[50][51][52] President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Jill Biden, among many other politicians and public figures, attended the funeral, with Obama giving the eulogy.[53][54][55] During the eulogy, Obama sang the opening stanza of "Amazing Grace".[56]

Aftermath[edit]

As a result of the shooting, in July 2015, the South Carolina Legislature put forth a bill to take down a Confederate flag that had been flown in front of the statehouse by state law since 2000 and move it to the Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum.[57] The shooter had previously posed in front of and posted images of a similar flag on his website. Pinckney's widow attended the session during the final vote to thank her husband's colleagues for their support.[58] The bill was passed and a Confederate flag will no longer be displayed at the South Carolina Statehouse.[59]

In June 2015, the family of Pinckney established the Clementa C. Pinckney Foundation to support poor families in the lowcountry region. Jennifer Pinckney, his wife, Senator Gerald Malloy, who served with Pinckney in the Senate, and Reverend Kylon Jerome Middleton, Ph.D., Pinckney's best friend, established the foundation in Pinckney's honor to support educational, health, pastoral training, and charitable causes.[60] In July 2015, Mother Emanuel, in response to anonymous donations of more than $3 million,[61] established The Reverend Pinckney Scholarship Fund, which was created to support education scholarship for church members, victims of the shooting and their extended families.[62] The initial fund was overseen by Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr, historian and educator Henry Louis Gates Jr and investment banker William M. Lewis Jr.[61]

In August 2015, a new Charleston County middle school was approved by Charleston County School District to be named Simmons-Pinckney Middle School in joint honor of both Pinckney and blacksmith Philip Simmons.[63]

Personal life[edit]

In 1999, Pinckney married Jennifer Pinckney (née Benjamin) in Augusta, Georgia. They met while he was at Allen University and she was at the University of South Carolina.[64] The couple lived in Ridgeland, South Carolina with their two daughters, Eliana Yvette Pinckney[65] and Malana Elise Pinckney.[10][16][66] Pinckney was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.[67] Pinckney was named in honor of the baseball player Roberto Clemente of the Pittsburgh Pirates due to his mother's love of baseball.[14] During his eulogy, multiple friends and family pronounced his first name as "Clemen-tay".[10] Pinckney is the cousin of the businessman and conservative commentator Armstrong Williams.[68]

Pinckney was buried in Marion, South Carolina[69] at the St. James AME Cemetery.[17][70]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Johnson, Jason (June 19, 2015). "The Clem Pinckney I Knew: Personal & Political Assassination in Charleston". NBC News. Retrieved June 21, 2015. 
  2. ^ Weisman, Jonathan (June 18, 2015). "Killings Add a Painful Chapter to Storied History of Charleston Church". The New York Times. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Cleary, Tom (June 18, 2015). "Clementa Pinckney Dead: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy.com. Retrieved June 17, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Pinckney, Clementa - Individual". Follow The Money. Retrieved June 21, 2015. 
  5. ^ Pinckney, Reverend Honorable Clementa C. (February 20, 2015). "Civil Rights Ride 2013 – Clementa C. Pinckney, SC Senate, Pastor Mother Emanuel A.M.E.". Mullikin Law Firm. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  6. ^ Pinckney, Clementa. "SC Blue Jamboree 2013 Part 4: Clementa Pinckney". South Carolina Blue Jamboree 2013. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  7. ^ Johnson, M. Alex (June 17, 2015). "'This Was a Hate Crime': Nine People Killed at Historic South Carolina Church". NBC News. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  8. ^ Staff (June 18, 2015). "Nine shot, multiple fatalities reported in downtown church shooting". The Post and Courier. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  9. ^ Bruton, F. Brinley (June 18, 2015). "Charleston Church Shooting: Rev. Clementa Pinckney Among the Victims". NBC News. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  10. ^ a b c The White House (June 26, 2015). "President Obama Delivers a Eulogy in Honor of Reverend Pinckney". The White House. Retrieved June 26, 2015. 
  11. ^ Bartelme, Tony (June 26, 2015). "Obama: 'Rev. Pinckney embodied a politics that was neither mean nor small'". The Post and Courier. Retrieved June 26, 2015. 
  12. ^ Sack, Kevin; Alvarez, Lizette (June 26, 2015). "President Obama Eulogizes Charleston Pastor as One Who Understood Grace". The New York Times. Retrieved June 26, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Theopia Stevenson Aikens - United States Social Security Death Index". FamilySearch. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  14. ^ a b c Sack, Kevin (June 25, 2015). "Clementa Pinckney, Called to Pulpit and Politics in a Life Cut Short". The New York Times. Retrieved June 26, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Theopia Aikens Obituary". The Post and Courier. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  16. ^ a b c "Senator Clementa C. Pinckney - Member Biography". South Carolina Legislature. Archived from the original on June 18, 2015. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  17. ^ a b "Clementa Carlos Pinckney: Obituary". The State. 24 June 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2015. 
  18. ^ a b Parker, Adam (November 28, 2010). "Leading from the pulpit". The Post and Courier. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Pinckney Island - National Wildlife Refuge". U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Retrieved June 21, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Pinckney Island: National Wildlife Refuge - South Carolina -- About the Refuge". U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Retrieved June 21, 2015. 
  21. ^ a b c Von Drehle, David; Newton-Small, Jay; Rhodan, Maya (12 November 2015). "Howd Do You Forgive a Murder?". Time. Retrieved 12 November 2015. 
  22. ^ "Clementa Pinckney's Biography". Vote Smart. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  23. ^ Diebel, Matthew (June 18, 2015). "Slain S.C. pastor Clementa Pinckney was 'a giant, a legend'". USA Today. Retrieved June 19, 2015. 
  24. ^ "Reverend Clementa Pinckney - Pastor's Page". Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Retrieved June 19, 2015. 
  25. ^ McAllister-Wilson, David (June 18, 2015). "Mourning the Loss of the Rev. Pinckney and Church Members". Wesley Seminary. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  26. ^ Lurye, Rebecca (June 18, 2015). "Sen. Clementa Pinckney mourned in Jasper County hometown". The Beaufort Gazette. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  27. ^ Parker, Adam (November 28, 2010). "Mother Emanuel AME pastor follows in footsteps of 19th-century minister-lawmaker". The Post and Courier. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  28. ^ Calvert, Scott (June 18, 2015). "Slain Pastor Clementa Pinckney's Mission Suited His Storied Church". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 21, 2015. 
  29. ^ Rowe, Charles R. (June 25, 2015). "Opinion: Editorials: Clementa C. Pinckney". The Post and Courier. Retrieved June 25, 2015. 
  30. ^ Gates, Jr., Henry Louis (June 18, 2015). "Henry Louis Gates: If Clementa Pinckney Had Lived". The New York Times. Retrieved June 21, 2015. 
  31. ^ "Henry Louis Gates Remembers Rev. Pinckney". PBS. Retrieved June 21, 2015. 
  32. ^ "Local News - 20 Under 40: Clementa Pinckney 12/29/99". Savannah Morning News. December 29, 1999. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  33. ^ "Our members - Senator Clementa Pinckney: District 45 – Allendale, Beaufort, Charleston, Colleton, Hampton & Jasper Counties". South Carolina State Democratic Caucus. Retrieved 12 November 2015. 
  34. ^ "Member Details: Senator Clementa C. Pinckney". South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus. Retrieved 12 November 2015. 
  35. ^ "South Carolina Senate District 45 - Map" (PDF). South Carolina Legislature. Retrieved June 26, 2015. 
  36. ^ McLeod, Mayci (13 April 2015). "Vigil for Walter Scott: Prayers and a Demand for Change". WCBD News 2. Retrieved 12 November 2015. 
  37. ^ McLeod, Mayci (April 12, 2015). "Vigil for Walter Scott: Prayers and a Demand for Change". WCBD-TV. Retrieved June 21, 2015. 
  38. ^ Boughton, Melissa (June 3, 2015). "Bishops bring together congregation in North Charleston to address police shootings". The Post and Courier. Retrieved June 21, 2015. 
  39. ^ Pinckney, Clementa C. (14 April 2015). "Remarks by Senator Pinckney". South Carolina Senate. Retrieved 12 November 2015. 
  40. ^ Pinckney, Clementa C. (5 May 2015). "Journal of the Senate of the State of South Carolina: Addendum: Remarks by Senator Pinckney". South Carolina General Assembly. Retrieved 12 November 2015. 
  41. ^ Lee, Jaeah (18 June 2015). "Murdered State Senator Clementa Pinckney Made This Haunting Speech About Walter Scott". Mother Jones. Retrieved 12 November 2015. 
  42. ^ Sarlan, Benjy. "Nine dead in Charleston church massacre". MSNBC. Retrieved June 19, 2015. 
  43. ^ "Charleston Church Shooting Leaves 9 Dead; Gunman Is Sought". The New York Times. June 18, 2015. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  44. ^ MSNBC Staff (June 18, 2015). "Tragedy strikes Charleston, South Carolina". MSNBC. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  45. ^ Cheney-Rice, Zak. "There's One Word the Media Isn't Using When Talking About the Charleston Shooter". Heavy.com. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  46. ^ Workneh, Lilly. "Why Recognizing The Charleston Church Shooting As An Act Of Racially Motivated Terrorism Is Only The First Step". Huffington Post. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  47. ^ Associated Press (June 24, 2015). "Viewing Held for Pinckney". The New York Times. Retrieved June 25, 2015. 
  48. ^ Knapp, Andrew; Roldan, Cynthia (June 25, 2015). "Thousands pay respects to slain pastor lying in state under Capitol dome". The Post and Courier. Retrieved June 25, 2015. 
  49. ^ Parker, Adam; Smith, Glenn; Berry Hawes, Jennifer (June 26, 2015). "Mourners, politicians reflect as they gather for Pinckney funeral". The Post and Courier. Retrieved June 27, 2015. 
  50. ^ Staff and agencies in South Carolina (June 21, 2015). "Charleston shooting: Clementa Pinckney's casket to lie at State House". The Guardian. The Associated Press. Retrieved June 21, 2015. 
  51. ^ Monk, John (June 20, 2015). "Pinckney's casket to be in State House Wednesday; other funeral plans announced". The State. Retrieved June 21, 2015. 
  52. ^ CBS/AP (June 26, 2015). "Obama among thousands at funeral for Charleston shooting victim". CBS News. Associated Press. Retrieved June 27, 2015. 
  53. ^ Baker, Peter (June 22, 2015). "Obama and Biden to Attend Funeral for Clementa Pinckney". The New York Times. Retrieved June 25, 2015. 
  54. ^ Staff (June 25, 2015). "Charleston police asking for patience, planning during Sen. Pinckney's funeral". The Post and Courier. Retrieved June 25, 2015. 
  55. ^ Obama, Barack (June 26, 2015). "Remarks by the President in Eulogy for The Honorable Reverend Clementa Pinckney" (PDF). The Post and Courier. Retrieved June 26, 2015. 
  56. ^ "Boehner Joins Obama on Air Force One". The New York Times. Retrieved June 26, 2015. 
  57. ^ "S 0897 General Bill". South Carolina Legislature. July 7, 2015. Retrieved July 7, 2015. 
  58. ^ Roldan, Cynthia; Knich, Diane (July 7, 2015). "Confederate flag's defenders to make last stand in House". The Post and Courier. Retrieved July 7, 2015. 
  59. ^ Roldan, Cynthia (July 8, 2015). "'New day in South Carolina': House votes to take down Confederate flag". The Post and Courier. Retrieved July 9, 2015. 
  60. ^ Gatson, Judi (30 July 2015). "South Carolina Comes Together". WIS TV. Retrieved 12 November 2015. 
  61. ^ a b Blinder, Alan (2 July 2015). "Anonymous Donors Give Over $3 Million for Charleston Scholarship Fund". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 November 2015. 
  62. ^ Vaughn, Barbara (2 July 2015). "Donors Announce Reverend Pinckney Scholarship Fund". City of Charleston, South Carolina. Retrieved 12 November 2015. 
  63. ^ Schmeyer, Elsa (15 August 2015). "Lowcountry school name to honor local blacksmith, Emanuel 9 victim". WCSC-TV. Retrieved 12 November 2015. 
  64. ^ "Wedding bells don't signal end of Pinckney's political career". Savannah Morning News. October 20, 1999. 
  65. ^ Matthews Jr., Senator John W. (December 4, 2009). "S. 912". South Carolina General Assembly. 
  66. ^ Many South Carolina Senators (May 13, 2009). "S. 825". South Carolina General Assembly. 
  67. ^ Watch The Yard (June 18, 2015). "Alpha Phi Alpha Brother, Rev Clementa C. Pinckney Among Those Killed In Charleston Church Shooting". Watch The Yard. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  68. ^ http://www.washingtontimes.com, The Washington Times. "Mass killings of Americans backfire on evil, hate, fear". The Washingtion Times. Retrieved 2016-06-13. 
  69. ^ McFadden, Naeem (26 June 2015). "Hundreds of Marion County residents pay tribute to Sen. Pinckney". The Morning News. Retrieved 12 November 2015. 
  70. ^ "Rev Clementa Carlos Pinckney". Find A Grave. Retrieved 12 November 2015. 

External links[edit]